Jimmy Faillon – Sorry, Fallon – Gives Murky Mark a Free Pass

Marked Mark Wahlberg, who has to be wishing he never sought a pardon for his entirely racist past, turned up on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night to promote his new movie, The Gambler.

And hit the jackpot – as in, no questions about his questionable quest.



Maybe Fallon shouldn’t be expected to ask the tough questions about Wahlberg’s dicey gamble to seek redemption.

But we think Jay Leno would have. Or David Letterman. Or . . .

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When a Nation Forgets Its Own Clichés . . .

. . . well, that’s just sad.

The hardworking staff has plied the differently clichéd beat for quite some time now, but this week we had our first twofer: A pair of mangled phrases in the course of one day.

Begin with this piece from Boston Magazine’s Boston Daily blog about Marked Mark Wahlberg and his quest to eradicate his entirely racist past.

Is he nuts? graf:

Upon hearing the news that Wahlberg was looking to be forgiven for his role in assaulting a man with a wooden club and punching another man in the face, back in 1988 during a Dorchester Avenue robbery, The Blackstonian drudged up other allegations about the the burger joint-owning Hollywood star—namely, his excessive use of the “n-word,” and the harassment of black residents at the time.

Traditionally, people dredge up allegations, but maybe BoMag reporter Steve Annear was alluding to the bottom-feeding Drudge Report.


Later that day, we heard this on PRI’s The World:

People have been calling on President Obama to make due on his promise to close Guantanamo.

Not to get technical about it, but people make good on a promise. Or a promise comes due.

Not both.

Whatever, here are some other recently mangled phrases.

• From Politico last month, in a piece about a joint press conference with President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping:

[W]hen a New York Times reporter posed a series of questions to both Obama and Xi, the U.S. president responded to the queries directed to him, but the Chinese president initially failed to respond to the questions put to him about the U.S. pivot to Asia and about refusal of residence permits for U.S. journalists working in China.

Instead, a Chinese press aide called on a Chinese reporter who asked a stilted question of Xi, producing a protracted, prepared statement from the Chinese leader.

The unexpected move produced a quizzical look from Obama, who seemed to think his hosts might have pulled one over on him.

Put one over on him, perhaps. Pulled one off, definitely.

(Recommended reading: John McWhorter’s Gray Matter piece in last Sunday’s New York Times headlined “Why Save a Language?”

(Why indeed.)

• Boston Herald headline last month, in a story about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid luring Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren into the Democratic leadership with a Potemkin position:

Reid plays Liz like a chump with new post


He either played her like a violin, or played her for a chump.

There’s no third way, as Sam Spade might put it.

• Splendid reader Mike Barry contributed this one from an October Toronto Star piece about Maple Leafs winger Phil Kessel’s lack of fitness in the season opener.

“Obviously we want to be better,” said Kessel. “There’s 81 more to go. I think it’s a little too soon to jump on the gun.”

Yeah, but . . .

You either jump the gun or – we dunno – fall on your sword?


• Headline from the September 30 New York Times:

Twangy Homilies About Shouldering Through the Pain

Shouldn’t that be soldiering through the pain?

Just askin’.

• PRI’s The World in August about Kate Bush returning to the concert tour after a 35-year absence:

She really does beat to her own drum.

Roll your own.

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Dead Blogging ‘The Best British TV Spots’ at the ICA

Well the Missus and I trundled down to Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art last night to catch the museum’s showing of the 2014 British Arrows Awards and say, it was . . . brilliant!

The Brits have long produced smart, engaging commercials largely because 1) they’re kind of embarrassed to be peddling stuff so they try to make the pitch worth your while; and 2) they actually respect consumers as intelligent beings, unlike American advertisers who think you’re a moron.

(Five decades ago legendary (Scottish!) adman David Ogilvy admonished his staffers by saying, “The consumer isn’t a moron. She is your wife.” Apparently, the majority of their successors married down.)

Among the finalists was this inspired wheelchair basketball ad from Guinness.



And this sweet spot from Cesar dog food.



And this smart series from Aldi. Representative sample:



Bronze winners included this AXE Apollo commercial.



Among the Silver winners was this haunting anti-cyberbullying video from The Cybersmile Foundation.



And, finally – drumroll . . .

Commercial of the Year:



Love it!

There are dozens more, most of which you can watch here, most of which are a hoot.

You’re welcome.

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Editorial Cartoonists Think Alike About Eric Garner Decision

In the wake of the New York grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choking death of Eric Garner, the hardworking staff noted similar treatment by two editorial cartoonists.

Dan Wasserman, Boston Globe:




Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News (tip o’ the pixel to Politico Playbook):




We figured there must others along the same line, but we didn’t find any. We did, however, come across this Poynter piece in which Benjamin Mullin  talked with the two cartoonists.


“I was finishing up a completely different cartoon on the hacking of Sony when the news of the non-indictment broke. I went back and watched the video of Garner being choked to death by the police, and the cartoon idea grew out of that horror.”

“…I think that, for certain galvanizing events, cartoonists seek out a simple, distilling image or phrase. Here you have a sense of great injustice together with the agonizing plea by Garner (“I can’t breathe.”) No big surprise that several cartoonists melded those elements in similar ways.


“In the Garner case, it’s a no brainer to link his last words with another icon, an expiring lady justice. My guess is that by the end of today even more editorial cartoonists will have done a similar one.

As for my ‘process’, I’m not sure I have one. The best ideas come to me unbidden, without my having to hunt for them, which was the case yesterday afternoon. I try to pare any cartoon down to as few words as possible. My ideal, rarely achieved, is no words at all.”

And there you have it.


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Civilians Who Run Full-Page Ads in the New York Times (Carole L. Haber Edition)

The hardworking staff has no idea who paid for this ad in yesterday’s New York Times, but it’s awfully sweet.


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From her WestportNow obituary:

In 1975, she played a key role in the founding of the talent agency, Creative Artists, and continued on in her career to co-produce numerous award winning Broadway shows including “Next Fall,” “Journey’s End,” “Evita,” “Big Fish,” and Monty Pythons “Spamalot.”

We happened to see both Journey’s End back in 2007 and the original production of Evita with the divine Patti LuPone. They were fabulous.

So, apparently, was Carole L. Haber.

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Round Midnight at the Global Worldwide Headquarters (Bob Dylan’s ‘4th Time Around’ Edition)

In the hardworking staff’s desk drawer is a 5 1/2″ x 4″ x 2 1/4″ black wood box with a ceramic top (crafted in 1970 by our great friend Margaret Ahlrichs – hey! we have all these friends in common!) featuring a black-and-white profile of Bob Dylan and this quote from 4th Time Around:

And I, I never took much
I never asked for your crutch
Now don’t ask for mine

(The headscratching staff has spent the last half-hour trying to figure out how to transfer a photo of said box to this post. We have failed miserably.)


We see the box every day. And last night it sent us here (sorry for the butterfly video):



And here, to the bootleg version:



According to Vimeo’s Ron Talley, “This is one of Dylan’s loveliest melodies. And the words, of course, are genius!”

Really. And all this time we thought it was just Dylan’s fabulous parody of the Beatles’ Norwegian Wood.



Shows what we know.

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Dead Blogging ‘The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife’ at Lyric Stage

Well the Missus and I trundled downtown yesterday to catch the Lyric Stage production of The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife by Charles Busch and, say, it was . . . meshugge.

From the website:

A middle-aged Upper-West-Side doctor’s wife is devoted to Allergists_WEB_iconsmornings at the Whitney, afternoons at MOMA, and evenings at BAM. Plunged into a mid-life crisis of Medea-like proportions, she’s shaken out of her lethargy by the reappearance of a fascinating and somewhat mysterious childhood friend. Filled with passion and humor, the New York Times called The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife a “window-rattling comedy of mid-life malaise.”

The production lives up to the Chaucerian echo in the play’s title: It’s broad, bawdy, and biting throughout.

Not entirely accurate YouTube trailer:



Full quote from the Boston Globe:

Charles Busch is not known for holding back, and he certainly heaves a lot at the wall in “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.’’

Enough of it sticks to generate some raucous merriment in a production at Lyric Stage Company, but it’s not sufficient, ultimately, for this unwieldy comedy to succeed.

The Globe’s estimable theater critic Don Aucoin ultimately called the Lyric production “sporadically entertaining.” And there’s no question Marina Re, in the title role, chews so much scenery in the first act she needs to floss during intermission. But that’s sort of the point.

As one local wag noted, it’s a play only a New York Jew could really love. (Full disclosure: I grew up in Manhattan and I’m Jewish by attraction.)

Regardless, it’s running through December 20. Do a mitzvah and go see it.

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Quote o’ the Day (Kentucky Bourbon Edition)

The hardworking staff never cribs its quotidian quotes from the New York Times, but for once we’ll make an exception.

From Saturday’s edition:


Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 1.16.02 AM


The A1 source:

Budget Problems? Kentucky and Elsewhere Find Answer in Bottle

LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. — Alcohol may not be single-handedly saving state and local budgets from the red, but it is certainly helping.

Consider Kentucky. Coal mines in parts of the state are struggling to stay open, but here among the gently rolling hills of horse country, bourbon is booming.

At the Wild Turkey plant, a new bourbon distillery is rising, theScreen Shot 2014-11-30 at 1.32.15 AM first built from the ground up here since Prohibition. Visits to the company’s tasting room, where guests can sip bourbon and gaze into a gorgeous valley, have doubled in the past few years.

The company paid over $778,000 in real estate and property taxes to Anderson County this year, twice what it paid in 2010, making it the biggest taxpayer by far. “We’re lucky to have them,” said Brian Stivers, the property valuation administrator for the county. “Without their expansions we would have probably had to raise the tax rate.”

Elsewhere, “changing consumer tastes and changes to state regulatory and tax policies have created a bull market in booze-related businesses.”

Thus, Garrett C. Peck’s quote above.


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Time Inc. Has Branded-Video ‘Lightbulb’ Go Off

Chalk up another hostage to stealth marketing: the debut of Entertainment Weakly.

Adweek reports that Time Inc. has launched EW Lightbulb, “an interview series featuring conversations with today’s leading creators about how they work and where they find inspiration.”

This month, Entertainment Weekly introduced Lightbulb, a new web series sponsored by Glade that features one-on-one interviews with actors and other creative types like Morgan Spurlock, Tavi Gevinson, Rashida Jones and Patton Oswalt. (Time Inc. first previewed the show during its inaugural New Fronts presentation this past spring.) While Lightbulb is officially an EW product, episodes will be pushed out across multiple Time Inc. brands, including People, InStyle and Essence, depending on the content. (For instance, InStyle will be promoting the episodes starring fashion-savvy Gevinson and Jones.)

Money graf . . .

Read the rest at Sneak Adtack.

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Quote o’ the Day (Nipple Ring Edition)

There’s nothing quite like the New York Times Style section.

Exhibit Umpteen (from yesterday’s edition): Erica M. Blumenthal’s Browsing column.


Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 12.33.41 AM


Margot’s story (real name Caitlin Moe) about What She’s Wearing Now:


Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 12.32.56 AM

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 12.33.17 AM


Nipple Ring Index: Two.


For a great historical perspective on the Times Style section, see Bonfire of the Inanities by Jacqui Shines at The Awl.


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